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Records Management: FAQ

FAQ

1. I have a lot of records in my office, and I’m running out of storage space. Can I go ahead and dispose of the records? Before disposing records, first contact Trish Clark to find out if the records in question have a records retention schedule. A retention schedule details the records and specifies how long the University is required to keep them. Trish will need the Section Number and Title found in the State College and University Retention Schedule along with the date range and also the amount which can be measured by the equivalent of a banker’s box or standard file cabinet drawer. After Trish has approved these records, you may place these records in the secure shred bins.

2. If I have received authorization to destroy documents, do I need to submit any forms? No. Once Trish Clark has given proper authorization to dispose of documents, she will send the completed "Report on Records Destroyed" form on your behalf. This form is proof of destruction in case these particular records are ever called into question at a later date.

3. Do retention schedules apply to copies of documents – for instance, those forwarded as correspondence, or duplicated for reference? The retention schedules apply only to the official copies of the University's records. They do not apply to convenience, informational, or duplicate copies, which may be destroyed when no longer needed for reference.

4. Where can I find a copy of the "General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities"? You may view and/or save a PDF version of these schedules online at the S.C. Department of Archives and History site: General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities

5. There are two types of schedules: general and specific. What’s the difference? General retention schedules apply to records common to all University Departments. Specific retention schedules apply to records that are not listed in the general retention schedule, but the University has determined should be maintained according to a specific schedule and approved by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. If you have records that fit this description please contact Trish Clark.

6. My department has both paper and electronic copies of the same documents; will there be different retention schedules for each? If a department maintains records in two different formats (in this case, paper and electronic), they will have to decide which is the official copy for the department and the university, and which is the reference copy. Only the official copy is covered under the general retention schedule. No reporting is necessary if the reference copy is destroyed before the retention period is met. However, if both record types are kept through the scheduled retention period, both record types must be destroyed at the same time.

7. What do I do with items that need to be transferred to the University Archives for permanent storage? Call or email the Trish Clark or April Akins to make arrangements for these items to be picked up.

8. Where are the secure bins located? There are two in the Business Office, two in the Print Shop and five in the Financial Aid office.

9. What if I have a large quantity to destroy at once? Please ask someone to unlock the containers for easier insertion. All items must be placed inside the bins. Nothing should be left on top or stacked beside these containers.

10. What if I need to destroy items with confidential information that are not listed in the Retention Schedule? These items can still be placed in the secure shred bins, but would not need to be reported.